“Black Skinheads”: Brandi Collins-Dexter’s essays on Black politics

Historically, voter turnout in American elections is horrible, and turnout in midterm elections is particularly lousy. But the midterms in 2018 set records for turnout, and with six days left in this cycle, there are indications that turnout this year will rival the historic participation four years ago.

For a long time, common wisdom held that high turnout favored Democrats. At least that’s what Republicans thought, which is why so many GOP dominated state legislators passed so many laws that targeted people of color and restricted access to the polls.

My guest today is Brandi Collins-Dexter, a keen observer of politics, race and the cultural landscape. In her new, first book, she takes a fresh look at the relationship between Black voters and the Democratic party, an alliance that began during the Civil Rights movement of the mid-20th century. She argues that there are many reasons that old assumptions about that relationship need to be re-examined.

Brandi Collins-Dexter is associate director of research at The Technology and Social Change Project (TaSC), housed in Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. She is the former Senior Campaign Director at Color of Change, a 7 million-member social justice organization. Her new book is a provocative and persuasive collection of essays called Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future. 

Brandi Collins Dexter was raised in Chicago. After several years in Oakland, CA, she now lives in Baltimore. She joins us today on Zoom from Dublin, Ireland…

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Audio will be posted here later this afternoon.

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